338. Babies

I know people who are crazy about babies, and I also know people who aren’t. I’m one of the ones who aren’t. I’m glad there are babies; if it weren’t for babies, there wouldn’t be children. So to me, babies are definitely people to be welcomed, supported, respected, etc., and when I’m with babies, I do my best. But I prefer people who say what’s on their minds, come up with interesting points of view, and can think of people other than themselves. Personally, I have trouble seeing babies that way. And I also like people who sleep through the
night (or read or write if they don’t feel like it), can tell you what they’re crying about, and know what a bathroom is for.
It’s not that I think there’s anything wrong with babies. I have it on the best authority that I was once one myself. I don’t remember being a baby; the first thing I remember was some guy asking me how old I was. I didn’t say anything, but I struggled to put up three fingers, and my mother beamed proudly. Sometimes people still called me a baby, but I think most of them did it to bother me. When you’ve just made it past that stage, it can be downright insulting to be told you haven’t. And it wasn’t true; if I was a baby, how come I could put up three fingers like that? That required intelligence and dexterity no baby could have mustered!
I worry about some people who like babies a little too much. Some of them don’t like older children as much, so they keep having more and more babies. But the babies don’t last very long; they have a way of turning into children, and then adolescents. Some parents try to stop that from happening; they baby their children in the vain hope that they’ll stay babies forever. After a while, it becomes quite clear that that isn’t going to happen, and there can be trouble. People tend to want a kind of respect that isn’t always given to babies.
So I hope people who prefer babies too much find other ways to be with them. The babies don’t have to be their own. There are plenty of babies around whose parents need or want to spend time away from them, and these parents would love to connect with some baby-lovers who could provide support. I love children, and spend a lot of time giving that kind of support to children and parents. I don’t have to adopt them to do that. In fact, as much as I love them, I wouldn’t want to adopt them. I’m too tired now.
Like the friend I recently wrote about who doesn’t like to spend much time with children, I’m a little embarrassed that I don’t adore babies as much as some people do. You’d think I would, adoring children as much as I do. But I’m glad I know that about myself. And I hope that by going public with the information, I’m helping some of you come to similar realizations. You don’t have to like what other people like to be a good person.

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